West's gunboats won't loosen China's grip on disputed islands

With the imminent deployment of British and French naval vessels to the South China Sea as a show of strategic intent to China, international attention will once again be drawn to the rapid military build-up by the Chinese in those troubled waters.

The move by Britain and France is purportedly to demonstrate European solidarity with the United States and its staunch allies like Japan and Australia in standing up to a rising China that they believe wants to challenge the existing rules-based international order.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2018, with the headline 'West's gunboats won't loosen China's grip on disputed islands'. Print Edition | Subscribe